Gately gives brief overview on Blue Ribbon Commission’s recommendations to Board of Regents

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Gately gives brief overview on Blue Ribbon Commission’s recommendations to Board of Regents
East Williston Superintendent Danielle Gately. (Photo courtesy of the East Williston School District)

East Williston School District Superintendent Danielle Gately Monday night gave a brief overview of the recommendations made by the state Education Department’s Blue Ribbon Commission on graduation measures to the Board of Regents.

On Monday, Nov. 13, the commission released a new roadmap for education that meets the needs of every student in the state, according to a release. The expanded recommendations would allow students to graduate with a diploma outside of the traditional Regents exam-centered standard. 

The commission did not recommend getting rid of the Regents exams entirely but focused on the alternatives to them.

Gately said the commission’s 12 recommendations fall under the four priority areas of consideration of multiple pathways leading to one diploma, review of assessment flexibility, understanding of meaningful life-ready credentials and culturally responsible curriculum, instruction and assessment. 

“I am proud to say that this community, in their wisdom, in the development of our strategic plan this year highlighted so many of the recommendations that this commission made,” Gately said during the district’s board of education meeting.

Included in the recommendations are condensing the three diploma types into one, reorganizing and streamlining credit requirements and ensuring access to career and technical education programs for more students across New York.

For the recommendations to be accepted, the Board of Regents needs to consider it through next spring and decide which of the recommendations to implement. If the board decides to go with any of the recommendations, the state Education Department would be in charge of implementing the changes to the current system. 

Regents exams became a graduation requirement in the 1990s, requiring all students to pass five of them to graduate. Recently, students could opt to substitute the fifth Regents exam with a career and technical education program or a separate project in arts or civics.

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